30 Days Wild – Day 25: Night Watch

I spent this evening outside with a group of friends. As we chatted, someone spotted a bat flying around above us. I tried to get a photo or video clip on my camera phone but it (unsurprisingly!) just came out as a brief blur across the screen. It was fun to watch though!

We were also joined by a few ‘friendly’ mosquitos, and assorted other insects; it was definitely a ‘wild’ night out!

30 Days Wild – Day 24: Microbeads 

What are microbeads?

• Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic found in some personal and beauty care products, such as toothpaste, scrubs, sunscreens and make-up.

• The microbeads used are mainly made of polyethylene (PE), but can be also be made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon. If any of these are listed under ingredients then the product contains microbeads.

• Microbeads wash off your body and down the drain, then end up in oceans.

• Microbeads, and other microplastics absorb harmful chemicals like a sponge. They become over a million times more toxic than the water around them.

• Fish and other marine life mistake them for food and eat them.

You can pledge to go #beadfree by only choosing products that are free from microbeads.

For more information about microbeads and plastic pollution, check out the following websites:

www.5gyres.org

www.beatthemicrobead.org

30 Days Wild – Day 23: Nature Art

Squiggle loves creative activities so today she decided to do some nature- themed art. She did some leaf rubbing, observation drawing and printing. We also remembered some nature art activities that we have enjoyed doing previously, both at home and at art group too.

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Leaf rubbing

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Observation drawings

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Leaf and grass printing

My demonstration of printing…

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Previously we have studied the work of Andy Goldsworthy, who is one of my favourite artists…

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And we have also used twigs to paint with too (no pictures though)!

30 Days Wild – Day 22: Bug Hunt and Litter Picking

We enjoyed spotting various insects today.

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We observed a bee collecting pollen, laughed at the challenge of taking photographs of hoverflies, watched a beetle hiding under a leaf, held a ladybird and a fly that landed on Squiggle’s leg, saw other insects too, and studied some mite eggs on a leaf.

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We also appreciated the beauty of rain drops on the web and the gorgeous colours of a tree…

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And we picked up litter too…

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30 Days Wild – Day 21: Urban Nature

Squiggle captured the following photos on our walk home from music class. It is actually very urban surroundings; concrete pavements alongside busy roads, walking past nothing but houses, shops and company buildings. I really love that she seeks out and spots the hidden nature regardless…

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Our garden has been left to grow freely all this month and is now looking very wild! As I sat earlier, watching various insects and other wildlife going about their business, I felt rather disappointed that at some point it will have to be cut again- it’s their home! But it’s lovely to sit in the long grass and quietly watch and enjoy the nature all around. Here is how it looks now…

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And in honour of insect week (day 2)…

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30 Days Wild- Day 20: Creatures Great and Small

Today marks the start of National Insect Week here in the UK. For more information on events, activities and competitions see www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk

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This seems a good time to mention our ongoing campaign to save Butterfly World Project. This was a local conservation project that sadly announced its permanent closure last December and therefore did not reopen this season. However, we have since been working together to try to find a solution. For more information on this, check out our website www.savebutterflyworld.com

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Also, it has just been announced today that EU has agreed an action plan to tackle wildlife trafficking and other crimes. Great news! This is one of many wildlife, conservation and environmental campaigns I have supported recently. It feels good to know that we can all make a difference- whether it is relocating an insect to safety or using our voice to support campaigns or taking any other kind of positive action- we can all do our bit to make the world a better place.

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30 Days Wild – Day 19: Simple Things

Today we had a nice lazy Sunday, including a lovely countryside walk.

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Squiggle had a ‘wild’ time…

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I enjoyed taking nature photos…

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Squiggle would like to know what this is…

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One thing I am loving about this challenge is that it serves as a constant reminder to stop and notice all the little things, and to appreciate everything. There is so much value in the simple things in life!

30 Days Wild – Day 18: Sylvanian Families at Whitchurch, Hampshire

Ok, I admit that Sylvanian Families might sound like a very loose connection to the 30 Days Wild theme! But this lovely day out is held in a picturesque village, set up by a little river with ducks and other wildlife, with a pretty flowery backdrop for the character meet and greet. It was very scenic! It was really nice to visit somewhere different, as well as the excitement for Squiggle of a Sylvanian themed day out of course- as has been mentioned on this blog many times before, she is a big Sylvanian fan!

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Squiggle meeting Tiffany Silk Cat

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Dancing in the marquee

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Ralph Walnut Squirrel

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Lots of goodies!

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Freya Chocolate Rabbit

It was a really lovely day out. Thank you to Sylvanian Storekeepers in London www.sylvanianstorekeepers.com for organising!

30 Days Wild – Day 17: Sock Seal and Listening to Birds

Today Squiggle made a seal from a creative kit we bought from a small company called Sock Creatures (see website www.sock-creatures.co.uk )

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Seals are one of our very favourite animals and visiting the seals at Donna Nook during pupping season is one of our most memorable ever days out. See my previous blog post about that wonderful experience here or check out Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website for more information.

Squiggle also had the inspiration of designing and making her own monkey too…

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In the early evening, I sat outside silently and listened to the birds singing. I tried to get a sound recording but it didn’t pick up much! It was beautiful to listen to though, and interesting to hear the variety of birds.

30 Days Wild – Day 16: DIY Coffee Scrub

As previously mentioned, I have pledged not to use products containing microbeads. There has been recent good news about this subject; the UK government says a ban is the best approach and that they will lobby for a European-wide ban. There are no details yet on what this will cover or when it will be implemented but it is still an exciting, positive step forward for ocean health and tackling plastic pollution.

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However, trillions of microbeads will still end up in our oceans before any new legislation comes into force. In order to raise awareness of this, and as part of 5Gyres campaign, I am arranging local drop-off points for opened products containing microbeads.

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With this in mind, today I decided to try my hand at making my own natural face and body scrub using coffee, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla extract.

DIY Coffee Scrub Recipe:

1/2 cup of ground coffee
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla

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